Your client is 68 years old. She has served 8 of a 9 year sentence (your client, not ours. Ours don't go to prison). She has diabetes, hypertension, a prior heart attack and has lost most of the vision in one of her eyes and suffers from loss of feeling in her extremities (diabetic neuropathy). She wants to be released from prison to home confinement for the last year of her sentence. She was convicted of a financial fraud crime. Was a first offender and has an exemplary prison record including a citation for saving a guard's life who was choking by applying the Heimlich maneuver.
If your client is in a federal penitentiary, the good news she is probably going to be released. If your client is in State custody, not only is she not going to be released, there is nothing for you to do as her lawyer. There are no provisions in Florida Law to allow a prisoner to seek compassionate release. Mr. Markus' blog is chockfull of orders seemingly every day by Judges Scola, Cooke, and Magistrate Goodman granting motions for release.
State court ? Nary a whisper because there is nothing state court practitioners can do.
What has Covid-19 exposed? Inter alia, that Federal Courts are more caring and compassionate and accessible than state court. Even the Attorney General got into the act, authorizing wardens without prior judicial approval to release federal prisoners to home confinement who have more than a year left on their sentence.
Federal court is a better place to be. Whodathunkit?
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